The Chicago White Sox acquired outfielder Michael Taylor, once considered a top-30 prospect in all of baseball, from the Oakland Athletics on Saturday, reports Jane Lee of MLB.com. The A’s land minor league pitcher Jake Sanchez in the trade, ending Taylor’s disappointing five-year stint in Oakland.
Ranked the No. 29 prospect in the entire sport by Baseball America before the 2010 season, Taylor looked to be an athletic, power-hitting outfielder. After being traded from Philadelphia to Oakland in the three-team deal that sent Roy Halladay to the Phillies, he was supposed to quickly emerge as part of a new outfield with the A’s.
Instead, Taylor’s bat flamed out at Triple-A, Oakland got too good to waste at-bats on his development and the entire thing fell apart. Now 28 years old, Taylor hasn’t spent a minute on a Major League roster this season — from 2011-13, he played in 26 MLB games and 325 Triple-A games.
Still with Oakland’s top affiliate this season, Taylor has batted .243/.357/.385 with 14 doubles and five home runs in 258 plate appearances. He can still play both outfield corners, but unless he starts hitting more, it’s hard to imagine he’ll be anything but a disappointment in the end.
For Chicago, trading for Taylor is essentially a no-risk flyer on a guy who many expected to make All-Star Games by now. He’s no longer remotely that interesting and, more likely, just gives the team some extra depth at Triple-A Charlotte, but given the limited cost — Sanchez is 24 years old and still in Single-A — there’s pretty much no downside.
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